Friday, August 1, 2014

"Southwestern Spiced Pork Chops with Peach Salsa" For National Peach Month

Everywhere I look this summer there are delicious, sweet, juicy peaches. There is a reason why I am seeing more peaches all over and that is because August is “National Peach Month.” Did you know that the peach is a member of the Rose family? It was first cultivated in China. The peach tree is considered to be the tree of life and peaches are symbols of immortality and unity. Peach blossoms are carried by Chinese brides and the image is placed on pottery as a gift which has great value. Travelers along caravan routes carried the peach seed to Persia before it was cultivated in Europe. In the 1600s Spanish explorers brought them to the New World and by the 1700s missionaries had established peaches in California. Columbus brought peach trees to America on his second and third voyages. The United States is the world’s largest producer of peaches. The peach is the state fruit of Georgia and South Carolina. The peach blossom is also the State Flower of Delaware. Johnston, South Carolina is known as “The Peach Capital” of the World.

Other major producers are Italy, France, Greece, and Spain. Peaches (or pesca in Italian) have grown in Italy since the Middle Ages. The yield time is from July to September. There are four main growing regions in Italy and they are; Emilia Romagna, Campania, Piedmont, and Veneto. Many products are made from peaches such as; peach marmalade, peach essence, peach juice concentrate, and peach puree to name a few. My mother told me that my grandfather would slice a peach into a glass of wine. In order to eat the peach slices, they would take a knife and use the tip to spear them in the glass. This was the classic Italian way. The peach adds a pleasant accent to the wine, and the wine can be either red or white depending on the region you are in. We are all peach lovers in my family. My dad especially loves them on top of cereal and I love peach pie. 

Peach varieties can be either Clingstone, where the flesh of the fruit clings to the stone, or Freestone, where the stone twists away from the fruit. The peach pit contains hydrocyanic acid, which is a poisonous substance. Peaches are a good source of vitamins A, B and C. Medium peaches contain only 37 calories. You can ripen peaches by placing them in a brown paper bag for two to three days. Nectarines are a variety of peach with a smooth skin, and are not a cross between a peach and a plum. The juice from peaches makes a wonderful moisturizer, and can be found in many brands of cosmetics. Summer and peaches make a perfect pair.  Peach ice cream and peach sherbet are a cool and refreshing summer favorite. Ripe peaches also freeze well for later use.

My recipe this week is in honor of the peach called, “Southwestern Spiced Pork Chops with Peach Salsa.” This dish enhances many different textures and is very appealing. The juicy peaches make a summer fresh salsa that complements the southwest seasoned grilled pork chops. Oh, Yummy!!! Don’t forget to get your fresh peaches, fruits, and vegetables at your Farmers Markets. It is important to support our local farmers.   

Southwestern Spiced Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients for Peach Salsa:
3 medium firm ripe peaches cut in 1/4-inch dice
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil

Southwestern Spiced Pork Chops:
6 bone-in pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Southwest Seasoning

For the Salsa, mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Brush pork chops with oil. Sprinkle with Seasoning. Grill pork over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve pork chops topped with Peach Salsa. Enjoy!!


I know that my readers have heard of my close personal friend Micheal Castaldo. I have written about Micheal before on my blog posts. He is an Award-winning songwriter/producer, recording artist, composer, Italian Cultural Ambassador, and entrepreneur. He is performing at the SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center) in New Jersey. Please take a moment and read through this Press Release. Don’t forget to purchase tickets to this awesome event that you will not want to miss! Thank you, from Micheal and myself. Ciao!! 

Sunday, September 212PM & 6:30PM
Tickets: $37, $57   
SOPAC Members: $32, $52

Investors Bank & Majestic Castle Music Presents: Michéal Castaldo A Musical Celebration of the Italian Spirit: “A Feast for the Ears, Eyes, and Soul”

Award-winning Italian tenor and songwriter, Michéal Castaldo will perform classic Italian tunes like “O Sole Mio,” “Con Te Partiro” (made famous by Andrea Bocelli), and his chart-topping original song, “Pray’r, ” as well as American hit songs sung in Italian, such as “Nights in White Satin, ” and “Hotel California” sung in the Calabrian language. This multimedia show will feature modern dancers performing vibrant dance routines to compliment each song performed by Castaldo, accompanied by The John J. Cali School of Music Strings of Montclair State University, NJ.

Michéal Castaldo has entertained audiences across the USA, Canada, and Europe with rousing renditions of classic Italian songs. With a voice that soothes the soul, Castaldo's performances are enchanting, heartfelt, and authentic. His stories in between songs share moments from his Italian upbringing, tidbits about his musical journey, and insight that went into his song choices.

“Michéal Castaldo is beyond captivating... beyond riveting ... his renditions filled me with tears of happiness”… Joe Franklin (Bloomberg Radio)

"An amazing Italian tenor"… Maria Bartiromo CNBC

"Michéal Castaldo has an amazing voice"... Ann Nyberg WTNH

Till Next Time………………………..

Copyright © 2014 “Family Plus Food Equals Love” All Rights Reserved


  1. Hi Dottie! Peaches are my favorite summer fruit. In fact I just made a peach galette this evening which you will see on LTG soon! Your pork chops and peach salsa sound delicious...what a fabulous combination of flavors.

    My Mom told me my great-grandfather used to do the same thing - wine soaked peaches. It's a real treat to enjoy while the sun sets. Peaches are probably one of my favorite fruits...another reason to love summer ;) ...while they're on sale, we stock up and freeze them so we make peach desserts over the winter.

    In regards to the comment issue you were experiencing, this is a new one. I know some readers were experiencing a white on white effect when leaving a comment, but I don't know why the margins are acting up now. All I can suggest for now is to clear your internet cache and see if that helps. I'll be looking into it in the meantime, so let me know if the issue persists.

    As far as the updates go, I see that our latest post is indeed on your sidebar, so I'm going to say it's updating as it should. Unless I misunderstood, and you were referring to something else.

    Thanks again for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend ahead.


    1. Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for all of your comments and visiting.Wow we were both thinking alike about the peaches. They are so yummy, especially when they are sweet and ripe. Your peach galette sounds really yummy. Funny, I had a bunch of apples and I was going to make an apple galette this weekend.

      The wine soaked peaches must be an Italian thing for sure. That is what I want to do is stock up on them and then have them in the winter.

      I will take your advice and clear my cache, that may help...I do remember on time I had that white on white, but I just wrote my comment and then highlighted it to see if I wrote what I wanted to. But that is not happening anymore. The updates I also see is showing on my sidebar. But with that, I noticed that once you post something it takes about a day to show correctly on my sidebar. I will keep watching it and hopefully it will clear up...I can imagine how crazy this must be for you and your mom. I don't mean to be a pain, but I figure if it is happening to me, it may happen to others. Have you noticed, is it only people that do not have WP and have Blogger that are having the problems? Well, we will figure it all out, as long as we can see each others goodies....that is what really counts.

      Thanks for taking time to explain things...have a blessed wonderful weekend as well, have patience.

      Dottie :)

  2. Dear Dottie, I grew up with a peach tree in the back yard. As a little girl there were always plenty of peaches in the summertime. I really miss it.
    My son and daughter love peaches. They are delicious as part of the meal or in a dessert or as you know on their own sliced.

    This is a very nice recipe and I do like a good peach salsa.

    I love Italian music. It never fails to bring many memories growing up. I am sure Michael is a wonderful singer; perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to hear him.

    Blessings for a beautiful weekend. Catherine xo

    1. Dear Catherine,
      How wonderful to have grown up with a peach tree in your yard. I can;t believe anyone who doesn't love peaches. As you said they are delicious anyway we eat them. My whole family loves them too. Thanks for your comment and for stopping over. I think pork and peaches make a wonderful combination. This recipe is really yummy.
      I agree, I love Italian music, memories of my family always playing records of the famous Italian singers.Micheal is a wonderful singer, he is awesome. I have heard many of his songs on youtube and on his website. A few of his songs are from operas and I get the chills listening to him. Sometime you can check him out on youtube, you will not regret it. Blessings to you as well for a wonderful weekend. PS, just want you to know that your daughter Tammy is very sweet and helpful. You should be very proud of her. I appreciate all of her help she has given me.
      Dottie :)

  3. Good evening Dottie ,
    Now this is a great dish , pork chops with peach salsa . I planted two peach trees when we moved here , last year was the first fruit , the kids love them , I will be making this dish very , very soon . ;-D .
    I do so think it's an Italian thing to soak the peaches in a glass of wine , my dad did and my father-in-law still do the same thing , go figure . My father-in-law winery is testing a wine made from peaches . ;-D . Great Post as usual and love the recipe .
    I think we will get updates from LTG ... a friend on Wordpress says it may date a day for WP to post updates to Blogger . We may be a day late , but we will continue to get the goodies from LTG ;-D.

    Thanks for the update on Michael and I pray for his continued success ... with a voice like Michaels' how can he miss . Thanks for sharing and have a blessed weekend :) ... Nee

    1. Good evening Nee,
      How great to have a peach tree in your yard. I am so glad that the kids love them. They are such a great little round fruit. Pork and peaches are a fabulous combination. Plus salsa is so good.
      It must be an Italian thing all right with the wine and peaches. Now that maybe really good a wine made from peaches..I may really like that one.
      Thank you for liking this post and your wonderful comment. So far as the updates go, on LTG I think I may have it figured out, as you said it seems to take a day for it to show up. I took Tammy's advice and cleared my cache. So we will see if it takes...
      Yes, Micheal is amazing and I promised to post his info so it may bring more people to listen to him. As you said dear friend, with that voice of his he can't miss.
      Have a fun and fabulous weekend with your family...Blessings...
      Dottie :)

  4. Another peach slicing wine drinker here Dottie, lol...I remember when we were kids how "grown-up" we use to feel when we were allowed to sip the adult wine with peaches in it. Eventually my grandmother let us have our own in a "real" wine glass, lol...

    Pork Chops and Peaches go so well together. Of course, the combinatin is at its very best when spiced up southwester style!

    Thank you so much for sharing Dottie. I am so glad to hear that Michéal is doing so well. “O Sole Mio,” is one of my favorite classics. It always reminds me of my father...Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Dottie and thank you:)

    1. Hi Louise,
      Good evening dear friend. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by...I agree, Louise, I did the same thing when we were kids. We just wanted to be so much like the grown-ups. But love the flavor of the peaches with the wine, something about it is just awesome! Glad that you like the recipe, it is so delicious and you are right, peaches and pork are a marriage in heaven.
      Thanks for your words about Michéal, yes he is doing well, Love his music and his voice is so amazing. I love "O Sole Mio" as well, anything he sings is wonderful. I am glad that song brings back memories of your father. That is how we keep our passed loved ones alive, with memories in our hearts.
      You also Louise, have a fun and happy Sunday...these weekends go so fast...
      Dottie :)

  5. Replies
    1. Hi Moo, Welcome, thank you for reading my blog and recipe...enjoy! Dottie :)

  6. Hello Dottie, it's a pleasure to meet you. I am coming over from Alida's blog. I love peaches and your dinner sounds wonderful. My grandparents had a beautiful peach tree in their backyard. We grew up eating lots of peaches from that tree. From your newest follower, Linda

    1. Hi Linda, Welcome, and it is a pleasure to meet you as well. Any friend of Alida is definitely a friend of mine. Thank you for visiting and your comment is so lovely. Glad that you loved this recipe. I grew up in Queens NY and we had a little yard, but no fruit trees sadly to say. Our neighbor had an apple tree, and she would give us some apples. That must have been so much fun to just go and pick a peach. I love all summer fruits, but there is just something about a ripe peach. Sweet, soft, tasty, and the aroma of the peaches just make me feel like I am in peach heaven. Again that you for being my follower, I am thrilled. I post on Tuesday for "Wordless Tuesday" and also on Friday. Enjoy your Sunday...Dottie :)

  7. Fab recipe Dottie! I am having so many juicy and lovely peaches in Italy now. I love how you paired them with meat. This is a very tasty recipe.
    I would like to make Bellini with white peach. I really like it.
    I am making the most of them in Italy now as there are so many and they are much cheaper than in the UK.
    Have a good start of the week lovely Dottie xx

    1. Dear Alida, So glad that you enjoyed this recipe this week. I can imagine, this is the month for peaches...Yes, pork and peaches..what flavor together. One of my favorites is the Bellini as well! Especially that the Bellini was created in Italy. Wow, they are cheaper than the UK. Stock up now! Hope that you are enjoying your stay with your family. Have a glorious Sunday and a good new week...thanks Dottie :)